Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Going Out All Over Europe? The Lights Flicker In Brussels

Last Autumn, to the dismay and disgust of the Union of Jewish Students in Belgium (UEJB), as well as of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS),  the Free University of Brussels showed a film featuring an incorrigible  antisemite of African origin, French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'bala, an admirer of Jean-Marie Le Pen and of Ahmadinejad.

In the film he described Jews as "the biggest swindlers on the planet" and declared "Death will be more comfortable than surrender to these dogs."

The film, 90 minutes in length, was shown during a discussion, open to the public, on freedom of expression focusing on Dieudonne.  Only one panellist, a history professor, spoke out against Dieudonne.

Viviane Teitelbaum, a Brussels legislator present, afterwards condemned the event as glorifying the French antisemite's bigotry and racism.

In a joint statement the UEJB and the EUJS denounced the "partiality" of the university's vice-rector, who moderated proceedings, expressed their shock at the "tense atmosphere of intimidation with regard to the Jews and the State of Israel which characterised the interventions of a large part of the public," and urged the university to pay heed to "the alarming deterioration of the climate on our campus and to fight against the consequences of the importation of the Israeli-Arab conflict".

Other incidents on campus, naturally also denounced by the UEJB, have included the staging of an Israeli military checkpoint there, a Nazi-style student feast, and the publication of an article in a university magazine that bore antisemitic stereotypes and assertions reminiscent of that despicable judeophobic forgery The Protocols of Elders of Zion.

Despite all this, in an interview published last month by the Belgian weekly Le Vif-L’Express, the university's rector denied that his university has become antisemitic, and alleged a "smear campaign"against it.

Feeling that the Free University of Brussels has become "the university of free antisemitism" and noting that many worried Jewish parents now prefer their children to study at the local Catholic university, an honorary professor at the former, internationally renowned neurosurgeon Jacques Brochi, a Jew who is also a Liberal member of the Belgian Senate, has resigned from the board of the university foundation that collects funds for research:

"I deeply deplored the absence of a strong and appropriate reaction from the university authorities to a succession of antisemitic incidents.
I don’t feel at home anymore at ULB." 
Of the situation on campus, he says:
"It is comparable to what is happening in other universities in Europe and elsewhere with the academic boycott of Israel campaigns where anti-Zionism takes the form of antisemitism.
But this is no reason to stay without reaction."
 Last week, in the Belgian Senate, Brotchi and two other members of his party abstained in the vote on a Socialist-initiated resolution calling on the Belgian government to recognise a Palestinian state:
"We abstained because the resolution doesn't condemn the political objective of Hamas which is to destroy the state of Israel."
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